For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development


PHILADELPHIA,  July 10, 2017 —The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has teamed up with Pokémon GO to encourage Philadelphia residents to explore their neighborhoods and libraries using the innovative augmented-reality experience of the popular mobile game. Five libraries in the  Free Library of Philadelphia system will participate in the initiative from July 10 through August 11.

Participants of the Library’s Summer of Wonder summer-reading program will qualify to win a special item related to Pokémon GO. To further immerse customers in the real-world experience, all visitors to the participating libraries and youth completing a Summer Reading Discovery Path will be encouraged to explore the neighborhood via a map of the nearby PokéStops, curated by the Free Library.  In addition, there will be a celebration of the libraries and the completion of this initiative in September 2017, which will include a walking tour of the PokéStops.

The initiative will support the Library’s Summer of Wonder program, which promotes reading and exploration activities for students while they are on summer break. Participants can explore their libraries and immediate neighborhoods, as well as complete activities related to literacy, exploration, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) through the Summer of Wonder reading game.

Participating libraries:

  • Tacony LAB (through August 4) |6918 Torresdale Avenue
  • Queen Memorial Library | 1201 S.23rd Street
  • Fumo Family Library | 2437 S. Broad Street
  • Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library | 123 S. 52nd Street
  • Parkway Central Library | 1901 Vine Street

Niantic, Inc., the developer and publisher of Pokémon GO, and the Knight Foundation recently announced a multiyear commitment to promote civic engagement in communities across the United States. These two organizations will support efforts to get citizens outside and exploring their towns through city-organized events.

“To encourage more people to interact with and explore our city’s public spaces, we need to meet them where they are,” said Patrick Morgan, Knight Foundation program director for Philadelphia. “By combining the draw of Pokémon GO with an invitation to get to know Philadelphia, this initiative taps into the power of technology to promote civic engagement.”

Siobhan A. Reardon, President and Director of the Free Library, commented, “What an exciting addition to our summer reading initiative!  Engaging children while they are out of school is critically important to ensure they return to school in the fall reading on grade level.  We look forward to having Pokémon GO players share the fun and curiosity that can be found in our libraries.”

“We’ve integrated incredible and interesting locations that highlight Philadelphia's history and culture into Pokémon GO,” says Vikram Grover, senior director of business development at Niantic, Inc. “Partnering with Knight Foundation and Philadelphia’s Free Library continues to build on Niantic’s vision to create ‘adventures on foot’ and to bring communities together in the real world, at vital public institutions like libraries, to explore, learn and engage with these institutions.”

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About the Free Library of Philadelphia:
The Free Library of Philadelphia system, with 54 locations and the Rosenbach, advances literacy, guides learning, and inspires curiosity with millions of digital and physical materials; 25,000 yearly programs and workshops; free public computers and extensive Wi-Fi, including neighborhood Hotspots; and rich special collections, including  those at Parkway Central Library and at the Rosenbach. With more than 6 million in-person visits and millions more online annually, the Free Library and the Rosenbach are among the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and boast a worldwide impact.


About Knight Foundation:
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit

About Niantic, Inc.
Niantic, Inc. builds mobile real-world experiences that foster fun, exploration, discovery and social interaction. Originally incubated within Google, Niantic, Inc., spun out in 2015, with investments from Google, The Pokémon Company and Nintendo. The company’s immersive real-world mobile game Ingress has been downloaded more than 15 million times and is played in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Niantic, Inc., also developed and published Pokémon GO, the real-world Pokémon game for iOS and Android mobile devices that has been downloaded more than 750 million times. For more information on Niantic, please visit



Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850